The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Little Giant history and review

Little Giant long shot of ladder with climber and holder

folded little giant ladder
My brother in-law was smart enough to buy a Little Giant type ladder years ago and I'm glad he did. It helped this small home improvement project be a bit safer and smoother than a neighbor's older ladder which wasn't quite long enough. I've always thought the old standard extension ladder was overdue for a make over and this is one of those times when the engineers got it right.

You can find them in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. The big plus is how compact this thing folds down to.

Harold Ray Wing discovered the first prototype in Germany back in the 1970s. He came back home to Utah, got a U.S. patent, started building them in his garage and selling them at trade shows and the rest is what they call ladder history.

Photo credit goes to Maggie Hess for capturing this Little Giant Chinese knockoff in all its long and sturdy glory. I wonder how much of a percentage Harold got from this big box store deal as the original patent holder?

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I bought a folding ladder years ago like the one you show in the photo and hardly ever use it. I find it too awkward and heavy. I do like it as a work bench or a scaffold with a piece of plywood laid across it. Over the years I have collected different types of ladders, and find all of them have their own special applications.
Comment by zimmy Sun May 30 11:57:05 2010
I know what you mean about the weight. I wouldn't consider this the ordinary, jack-of-all-trades ladder, but I do think it makes a great second ladder since it gives a lot more flexibility and length, with the downside of a bit of extra weight.
Comment by anna Sun May 30 12:56:31 2010

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